Successful selection of newspapers for digitization is the result of combining judgments about the information value and completeness of available titles, with analysis of the image capture quality that is possible from a given set of microfilm. NDNP assumes that negative microfilm will play a leading role in digital image capture and that original paper copy will fill only a limited supporting role.
Image Quality Selection Criteria
Newspaper titles meeting intellectual selection criteria for high research value, geographic and temporal coverage must be of sufficient image quality on microfilm to yield satisfactory digital images and automated text conversion output. Poor quality microfilm and/or poorly prepared original material on microfilm will likely yield unsatisfactory results. See the NDNP Technical Guidelines for information on how to assess the quality of microfilm.
The foremost reason for selection of an individual title for digitization is that the newspaper significantly reflects the political, economic and cultural history of the state. These include, but are not limited to, titles of statewide or regional influence and titles important as a source of information about a variety of ethnic, racial, political, economic, religious, or other special audiences or interest groups.
Preference should be given to titles that are recognized as "papers of record" at the state or county level and contain published legal notices, news of state and regional governmental affairs, and announcements of community news and events, including births, deaths, and marriages.
One objective of the NDNP is to ensure broad geographic representation of American newspapers in digital form. Preference should be given to titles that provide state or at least multi-county coverage.
Titles that cover a geographic area or a group over long time periods are preferred over short-lived titles or titles with significant gaps. Titles may be selected for the time period 1690-1963 so long as they are confirmed to be in the public domain. Continuity is preferred over short runs or scattered issues.
In cases where more than one paper meets the research, geographic, and temporal criteria the selection committee may need to consider additional factors in making final decisions:
Given the tremendous volume of newspaper material published before 1964, it is likely that both private and public efforts will be undertaken to make this material available in digital form. High research value titles that have ceased publication and lack active ownership likely to invest in future digital conversion should receive special consideration for NDNP.
Newspaper titles that document a significant minority community at the state or regional level should be considered as a means to balance content. Any newspapers that contain text written in any language with a valid ISO 639-2 language code (https://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php) may be included. Search engine support may vary by language as detailed in the Library of Congress technical guidelines.
Newspapers titles that have already been converted to digital form may not be a good candidate for inclusion, but applicants may justify selecting such a paper in special circumstances.
Last Updated: 07/08/2016